The Key to Editing Suspense

The order you arrange the shots in your edit is fundamental in film editing.

The structure of your sequence could hold back information from your character, but not your audience. Or, have your character know before the audience does.

We are going to start with a little history lesson. In 1920 a filmmaker called Lev Kuleshov performed an experiment to demonstrate that, depending on how your shots are assembled, the audience will attach different meanings or emotion to them.

Kuleshov Effect 1

Kuleshov cut three different sequences together. The first shot was always an expressionless close up of Ivan Mosjoukine who was a Russian actor. The shots that followed shows the actor reacting to a child in a coffin, a bowl of soup, and a woman laying on a sofa.

When you watch each sequence separately, you get a different meaning and emotion. The first is sadness, the second is hunger, and the third is lust.

We’ve created 3 different sequences with Richard. Let us know in the comments below what emotion you get and what you think Richard is thinking.

Kuleshov Effect.jpg
Kuleshov Effect 1.jpg
Kuleshov Effect 2.jpg
Kuleshov Effect 3.jpg

This whole experiment is called the Kuleshov effect. I’ve put a link in the description of this video if you want to learn more about it.

This was the early days of editing, and a lot has been learnt and edited since 1920, but his experiment and the effect it has on the audience is still important when making films today.

Now let's expand on this. Instead of changing the shot, let's change the order of the shots in a sequence.

We have created a short scene which takes place in a back alley. Police Officer Rusty Johnson, is investigating crimes that have happened in the area when he hears glass smashing.

Example 1


This sequence of shots is a question and answer sequence. It’s one the audience can easily follow along with and anticipate the outcome.

Shot A is of the Police Officer walking down the alley and asks the first questions: “where are the bad guys?” And “what was that noise?”.

Shot B asks a new question: “What has the Police Officer found?”

And shot C give us the answers. The Police Officer has found a bad guy committing a crime.

Example 2

Now let's change the order of the shots and put shot C after shot A and see how that plays out.

Shot A still asks the same question “where are the bad guys?” And “what was that noise?” but by changing the order, the context of the scene has changed and shot C becomes the answer to shot A “the bad guy is over here”. Shot C also asks another question, “will the bad get away before the Police Officer gets there?”.

The final shot of the sequence which is now shot B answers the questions, The Police Officer has found a bad guy committing a crime.

The order of this sequence allows the audience to share the information with the filmmaker by allowing them to know what the Police Officer is up against before the Police Officer does. By editing the sequence in this order it creates suspense because we know the Police Officer is getting closer to the bad guy, unlike the first example where we did not know the geography between the two characters.

Example 3


Let’s change the context of the scene again and have shot C first.

By showing the bad guy committing a crime at the start of the scene, a suspenseful situation is established for the rest of the scene, and again, the audience knows something the police officer does not.

When we cut to shot A, the tension is raised because we know the police officer has heard the bad guy and is close. Shot B now asks another question “has the police officer got there in time to stop the bad guy?”

By changing the structure of the sequence in these 3 examples, it allows us to change what the viewer knows and when.

There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the order of the shots in a sequence, it all depends on the type of film you are making.

Placing your shots together is obviously done in the edit, but you can start to think of how each shot connects to each other in the storyboard and even when writing your script. Making the decision in the script and storyboard stage will allow you to plan and shoot for the editing.

If you start to change the sequence of shots for the first time in the edit, you may not have all of the coverage needed to do so. But the 3 examples we showed all worked and give the audience a different context to the scene, and it was all done in the edit, so it really just depends on the type of film you are making.

There are a couple of things you can think about to help you work out which is the best structure for your film.

Do you want to hold back information from your character but let the audience in on the secret?

Or have your character hide information from the audience and reveal something big in the end?

Think about the best time to reveal the bad guy to your audience. Revealing this early will create suspense and have your audience screaming at the screen telling your character not to trust them, but having it early might spoil the surprise.

In a murder mystery, where your character is finding clues about the killer, it might be best if the audience just goes along for the ride. Which is example 1 from the 3 that we spoke about.


A lot of the information for this episode was taken from the book Film directing shot by shot Steven D. Katz. I would highly recommend picking it up as it goes into a lot more detail about this subject and a bunch of others.

Film Directing Shot by Shot

Amazon UK:

Amazon US:


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Still The Best First Lens to Buy | Canon 50mm F1.8 Review (6 Years On)

Is the Canon 50mm F1.8 or the nifty fifty any good in 2019?

Well, we still use it even after 6 years and think it is still the best first lens to buy, even if you are not using a Canon camera.

We have been using this lens for about 6 years now and first used it on the Canon 600D, but this lens has actually been out for 28 years. It was first introduced in 1990 a couple of years after Canon brought out the EOS mount system.


The one we have was probably manufactured 7 or 8 years ago, but the design and build are the same as the ones from 1990.

After moving from a crop sensor Canon to a full frame Sony, we adapted all of our Canon lenses to Sony mount with a commlite adaptor.

There aren’t too many new Canon 50mm F1.8 mark 2s out there, but you can pick up a second hand one for around £50.

When you shoot at F1.8, the centre of the lens isn’t that sharp and looks out of focus, as you can see when we’ve shot straight against a flat wall. When you look at the edge of the frame the image has started to become more out of focus from what it is in the centre.


This happens with a lot of lenses when you shoot wide open, but when you start to change the F-Stop to F4 or F8, the focus naturally gets sharper from the centre of the frame to the edge.

You’ll find the Canon 50mm sharpness sweet spot is around F4 and F5.6.

But shooting at a lower F-Stop like 1.8 will give you that sweet looking bokeh which we all love, so there is a trade off.


When you are shooting between 1.8 and 2.8 you will get a lot of lens flares and your image will be milky if you are shooting in situations where there is a bright and direct light.

This is a cool effect if you want it, but to avoid it you can simply shoot at an f-stop of 2.8 or higher. This will give you a cleaner image.


When you first get this lens you will likely shoot everything at F1.8 because it looks cinematic, but you will soon realise that shooting everything at F1.8 can make your footage look amateurish if you can’t keep your subjects in focus.

When we first got the canon 50mm 1.8 we shot everything at 1.8, mainly because it’s fun and we had the ability to do so.

But we soon realised that the depth of field at 1.8 will be from the person's eyes to the tip of their nose. This is fine if you are shooting a static subject as you can focus on the person's eyes and they will stay in focus throughout the shoot.

If your subject is moving around however, you will find it very difficult to keep them in focus when shooting at f/1.8.

So when shooting on a 50mm try shooting at F2.8 or F4.


This is where the Canon 50mm performs the best. You get a sharp image with some nice shallow depth of field, but it keeps the focal plane a lot more manageable when focusing on a moving subject.

50mm on a full frame camera is known as a standard field of view as its roughly the field of view as your eyes, giving your image a very natural and pleasing look.

The Canon 50mm does give you the ability to shoot in low light situations because of that F1.8 aperture. This comes in very handy when we were shooting on the Canon 600D as you could not push the ISO past 800 before the image becomes too noisy.

Shooting on newer cameras like the Sony A7s has changed that. In a low light situation, we can shoot at F8 with an ISO of 5000 and the image is still clean.

So depending on the camera you have and the situation you are shooting in, work out a good balance between shooting at a low F-Stop and bumping up ISO so you have a manageable shot and a clean enough image.

The construction of the Canon 50mm lens is all plastic, but this has not really been a problem. We’ve been using it for 6 years now, there are a few marks on it but that is just general wear and tear. Even after all this time, we’ve yet to drop it. The glass is still clean, and there is even a video of someone taking a hammer to the glass and it doesn’t break.


Links to that video can be found below but I wouldn’t recommend doing this, especially to the body of the lens.

The focus ring on the Canon 50mm lens is its biggest downside as it is very thin. There is not a lot of room to grip onto the focus ring when manually focusing. It’s not very smooth and it doesn’t sound great when you turn it.

Most lenses we have used have a long focus throw which is simply how much you have to turn the focus ring to go from macro to infinity focus on a lens. A long focus throw gives you the ability to do fine focus adjustments and be a lot more accurate when focusing.


These manual vintage lenses have a very long throw, and if you have even seen cinema lenses, they have a massive throw and are extremely accurate.

The Canon 50mm has a very short throw, so when pulling focus, it is very difficult to be accurate and hit the same focus marks consistently.


It does take practice to get used to the small focus ring and it might just take a couple of more tries to nail your focus when shooting.

When shooting a short film, we use a wireless follow focus which is operated by a 1st AC. Unfortunately, you’ll find it very difficult to use this lens with a follow focus because the focus ring it too thin to attach a focus gear properly.

But this isn’t really a problem for most people, especially if you are just starting out.

We have used the Canon 50mm 1.8 on Canon and Sony Cameras, and we would definitely recommend picking one as they are so cheap.

We’ve never used one on a GH4 or GH5, but if you have, let us know in the comments below about what you think about the lens. We’d love to give people advice about using this lens on that camera system.

If you are just starting out I would highly recommend getting this lens. It will allow you to learn about shooting at low F-Stops, focus, image quality, and also get your images looking like a film with the shallow depth of field and the natural, pleasing look you get from a 50mm lens.

Yes, there is a lot that goes into making your image feel and look like a film; you need props, costumes, locations, lights, good sound, and a solid performance from your actors. But when you are just starting out, and you just want to shoot some cool looking footage, this lens will allow you to do that whilst learning all the other things.


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Cheap RGB Light | AL-360RGB Review

For 5 years now we have been using these 160 LEDs. The technology in them is old, the colour of them isn’t great, and the battery connection has started to go. So it was time to upgrade.

We have reviewed two AndyCine products in the past and they reached out at the right time to see if we wanted to review their new 16W LED light which is also RGB and has 360 different colours to choose from.

We obviously said yes, and that’s what we will be reviewing in this week’s video.


The AL-360RGB light has a max output of 16 watts. You can cycle from 3200k to 5700k, with the brightness staying at around 16 watts throughout the different colour temperatures.

When using the RGB mode on the light, most colours look like they use the full 16 watts of power, which is very impressive for a light of this size and price. Some colours look a little darker but this is just down to the shade of the colour.

You can change the brightness of the light a percentage at a time, all the way down to 10% and the colour temperature can be adjusted by 50 Kelvin at a time.

To access the RGB mode you simply press in the CCT/HUE button and use the dial to go through the 360 HUE colours.


When turning the dials to control the brightness, colour temperature, or RGB colour, you can turn the dial one notch at a time to change the setting slowly. If you want to make a big change to the settings you can turn the dial quickly.

This is a nice feature to have so you are not spending a lot of time cycling through the settings if you know the one you are looking for.

There is a little screen on the back of the light which is quite dim and isn’t the clearest, but it does have a battery indicator and all of the settings information. It’s a nice little feature to have on such a small and relatively inexpensive light.


The light can be powered via NPF batteries or via an 8.4v DC cable. One of the main uses we’ve had for this light is to add a coloured edge light when shooting product footage for this channel. Sometimes we can be shooting for an hour or two with the light always on, so having the ability to run the light directly from the wall is a feature we have been taking advantage of.

If you use one of these 970 NPF batteries you will get a run time of around an hour and a half with the brightness staying consistent until the battery hits about 10%.

In the past, we have used coloured gels to get different coloured edge lights. It’s worked well in the past, but with this new light, we have the ability to choose between 360 colours with a turn of a wheel. No need to faff with cutting and attaching gels.  

Each colour has its own reference number displayed on the screen. This allows you to record the colour you have used for future reference or have the ability to dial in the same colour on multiple lights.


If you are shooting in a dark situation or have complete control of the light that’s in your scene, you could use this light as a key light. Most of the time this light would be used as an edge or hair light for a subject, and also to paint coloured light on a product or a background.

RGB LED lights are the next trend in lighting with lots of companies bringing out big expensive RGB lights. We have this one from LEDGO which we will be reviewing soon.

In the box you receive a light stand mount which allows you to tilt the light with ease. It is made out of plastic just like the rest of the light, but with the light being super lightweight it should last a long time.

One downside to this light is that it does not come with a battery or a DC cable to power it. It’s an extra expense you will need to make if you are thinking about buying this light. You can’t use it straight out of the box, unfortunately.

I’ve linked to an article in the description below from someone who has taken this light apart and tested it to the max, check it out if you are into that kind of stuff.


Seeing the rapid RGB technology filter down into a budget light this small is really good to see as it makes it super accessible for low budget filmmakers like us.

I really like this light; it gives you the flexibility to switch between colour temperatures and is an upgrade from our older 160 LED lights, but the best feature is the RGB mode. Having that feature in such a small light gives you creative freedom with ease. We will not be messing around with gels for much longer.

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

🇺🇸 US links:

AL-360RGB -

🇬🇧 UK links:

AL-360RGB -


Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

$600 vs $60 Mic | Rode NTG3 vs Rode VideoMicro

The Rode NTG3 vs the Rode VideoMicro. One is $600. One is $60. One is 10x the price than the other - but is it 10x better?


Today we are going to find out! Welcome to The Film Look.

We are giving each microphone a like-for-like comparison in some quintessential sound recording situations.

First up, our presenting setup.

When we present an episode, we boom a microphone overhead and plug it straight into the camera. We use the NTG3, and we have an SmartRig XLR phantom power adapter to convert it and plug it straight into the camera.


The VideoMicro on the other hand, uses a 3.5mm jack, so it doesn’t need an adapter, just an extension cable.

When you compare the sound of these microphones side by side, it is clear the NTG3 sounds more full and clear whereas the VideoMicro sounds a little tinny. But considering the VideoMicro is only a tenth of the price, it’s holding up really well.

To give the VideoMicro a fighting chance, I’m going to tweak the EQ and attempt to match it to the NTG3. Let me play those clips again.


This is sounding much better. In all honesty, now the VideoMicro sounds just as good as the NTG3 in this setup.

But what about if we are shooting a wide shot?


Booming the microphone in the same position as earlier will place the microphone in frame, so we must move the microphone further back. Let’s see how both mics handle booming from a distance.

Positioning the microphone from a long distance is the worst way to record sound; you get a lot of noise, low levels of dialogue, and it picks up a lot of acoustic tone in the room. From my ears, both microphones sound very similar. And similar being, both pretty rubbish.

So what about setting up a plant mic?


Because the VideoMicro is so small, it can easily be hidden in the shot, such as in a car, taped to the sun visor.

You just need to get creative and find a place to hide it close to your subject.

The NTG3, on the other hand, has a harder job of being so sneaky.


We have a video about different ways to record dialogue in a wide shot if you want to see some more methods.

Next up, we have foley.


We will record some clothing foley in a quiet room with the microphone really close. The environment needs to be silent and the microphone needs to pick up the nuances in the sound.

I’ll be recording in sync with our film Backstage, recording clothing foley for the Medium.


The NTG3 is an obvious winner. The higher sensitivity means it can record subtle noises a lot louder than the VideoMicro. So when the volume is balanced between both mics, the VideoMicro introduces a lot more noise into the sound.


So to conclude: The NTG3 is obviously a better microphone, that comes with the obvious higher price tag. It is more sensitive, so it records a cleaner and more well-rounded sound. It's perfect for recording high quality sound on short films.

But the VideoMicro also has its place. We use it when recording behind the scenes because it's so easy to set up on top of the camera.


It also wins in the “not breaking the bank” category, so if you are looking for a budget option, you CAN still record good sound for a short film with this microphone.

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Small Rig Cage for Blackmagic Pocket 4K

To be able to use the black magic pocket cinema camera 4k to its full potential you need an external battery source and an external SSD to be able to record at the highest level of quality.

This means this camera is going to need a cage to hold all of this extra stuff.


In this video, we are going to be reviewing the Small Rig cage for the black magic pocket cinema camera 4k.

We reviewed the black magic pocket cinema camera 4k in the last video, so if you haven't seen that you can find the video here to see what we thought about it.

We have been using cages for our Sony a7s cameras for a few years now and without them shooting would be a lot more difficult. The same goes for the pocket 4k. Without a cage, the camera is just about unusable, especially if you’re shooting all day.

To shoot at the highest quality you need to use an external hard drive, but there's nowhere to mount it. Also, the battery life sucks so you need to use an external battery solution, and again there is nowhere to put it.


This is where the smallrig cage comes in. The cage is one piece of metal and has a bunch of mounting options. ¼ 20, ⅜, Rosette mounts for extra handles, and cold shoe mounts.

It fits the camera like a glove, and when holding it in your hand, the cage is curved and seamlessly joins the camera.


Next, we have the top handle. Small Rig has a few different top handles which will fit this cage. This one can change position and slide forward by turning these two screws. The best bit about this is that the Allen Key you need is magnetically stored on the handle.

the Allen key that you use to fix the camera in the cage is also magnetically stored on the bottom of the cage. This means you never have to go looking for the correct Allen key. It’s just there.

Having them magnetically stored on the cage is something I wish I had on my Sony A7s cage, as I take it in and out of the cage a lot.


Small Rig has designed an SSD holder which you mount onto the cage. You feed the cable through the front and tighten the hard drive in place.

This SSD holder is designed for the Samsung T5 SSD’s, but these Angel Bird SSDs also fit into the holder with a little bit of a wiggle.

Finally, you get this cable clamp for your HDMI and USB type C cable you use for the SSD. This just makes sure your cables are safe and secure.


With the cage, we have mounted our external battery solution which allows us to extend the battery life. Our DIY battery didn’t work great and the battery life kept dropping. So I would look into a different way to power the camera, maybe something that uses the 12v power input on the side of the camera.

But the smallrig cage has loads of room to mount something.

Just like all SmallRig products (and we have a few) everything is built to a high quality and they have a bunch of other accessories for all sorts.

Without the SSD holder and the ability to mount an external battery on to this camera, I don’t think we would use it. So spending an extra $190, which is how much all of these parts cost, is definitely worth the investment if you have a pocket 4K camera.


If you haven't seen our review on the Pocket 4K camera you can find that video here. Let us know in the comments below if you are thinking about buying one too and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

SmallRig Website -

Cage -

Harddrive Mount -

Cable Clamp -

Top Handle -

This video was Sponsored By

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Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Review

The black magic pocket cinema camera 4K has an unnecessarily long name, but the camera packs a lot in for the £1100 price tag.

So if you’re looking to upgrade your camera or buy your first camera, is the pocket 4K worth it?


We’ve been putting one to the test for the past few weeks and we are going to be reviewing it in this video.

Just to say up top, BlackMagic did send us over the pocket cinema camera 4K, but everything we say in this video is our honest opinion.


With every piece of filmmaking equip ment that we review, we always like to use it on a production and put it into real world shooting condition. With the Pocket 4K we have used it to shoot episode footage for this channel which is something we do daily, and we have also used to in a screen test for our next short film.

Since we have been shooting on the Sony a7s Mark I for about 2 years, and use it to shoot everything, we will be comparing it to the pocket 4K when we can.



Today’s video is certainly a user review and not necessarily a spec review. I’ll be speaking about the features I think matter when making films. But I have added a link to the black magic website if you want more details.


The black magic interface has got to be one of the easiest to use. With having a 5-inch touchscreen, the layout and buttons are big, it's easy to flick through and adjust the settings.


When shooting with the camera, the record button is big and in a normal place, unlike the Sony A7s record button. In fact, the pocket 4k has two record buttons, but I am not too sure why it is here.

To change the setting on the camera, you select them on the screen and change them from there, or use the jog wheel on the front. On top of the camera, you have the most common buttons to change your ISO, shutter and white balance, and you can change to f/stop with the jog wheel.

Also, you have three custom function buttons which can be set to things like false colour, Zebras, grids, safe areas, also to turn a LUT on and off which is essential if you’re shooting with a flat picture profile.


Recording Format and Resolution

With this camera, you have a bunch of recording formats to choose from.

Which is great to have if you are going to be using this camera to record a bunch of different projects like films or YouTube Videos.

If you are shooting a short film you’re most likely going to shoot RAW. You might as well as you have this camera. With RAW you will get the greatest level of control over your image in post-production you can change the white balance, you have more information to recover your highlights, colour grade, and noise reduction.

More on post-production later on.

You can record onto an SD card, C-fast card, and an external SSD. If you want to shoot at the highest quality you will need to buy external SSD to record onto. The SD and C-Fast card cut out after about 30 seconds because of the size of the RAW recording.


In fact, the best value for money and capacity is an external SSD, as you can get a 500GB card for around £120. A 128GB C-Fast card will cost you 2 or 3 times that, depending on where you by it.

We have a 512 GB SSD. At 4K RAW Lossless you get 15 minutes of record time. For us this file size and the record time is unmanageable, but the camera can also record 4K RAW at 3 to 1 and 4 to 1 which is a reduced quality but you get a much longer record time and there is not a great difference in quality.

When shooting a film we would probably shoot at RAW 4 to 1.

Like us, if you shoot on a daily basis and make videos for YouTube, shooting RAW is again unmanageable in terms of hard drive capacity and unnecessary levels of image clarity, but the camera has a few different flavours of ProRes codecs and quality levels to shoot at.

For a recent video on our channel, we recorded the footage in a mixture of RAW and ProRes at different qualities and it all mixed together well. I even turned a 4K RAW Lossless clip into a gif for social media.


That video was 5 minutes long with a project file size of 131 GB. On average, other videos of that length when shot on our Sony a7s have a total project file size of 20 GB.

For YouTube videos we would probably shoot Pro Res 422, as it has a good balance between quality and file size.

Image Quality Comparison

We pre light our short film 60 Seconds and tested the Pocket 4k. We recorded at a number of different formats and resolutions so flick through them to compare.


This camera has a 3.5mm microphone and headphone port. You can plug in a full-size HDMI cable, it has a 12v power port so you can run the camera from a wall socket. A USB-C port for external hard drives, and a mini XLR port.


This allows you to plug in a mini XLR to full XLR cable into the camera. This is a great feature to have as you don't have to buy extra equipment like this smart rig converter box which we currently use.

When we tested this out and monitored the audio through headphones whilst recording, the audio was delayed from the video and sounded like this.

The footage was all in sync in the final clip, but it made it impossible to monitor the audio whilst recording. Hopefully, this can be fixed in a firmware update because it is a big problem.


This camera is an investment. You will need to build up the camera to be able to use it efficiently when shooting, but this is very similar to most cameras out there like our Sony a7s.

The first thing you will want to get after the camera is a cage as this will help you mount the other accessories you need for the camera. The cage we have is from SmallRig, it comes with a top handle, HDMI clamp, and hard drive mount.


We have a full review of the cage in the next video, which you can find here if you are watching this in the future.

The battery life of the camera sucks and the LP-E6 battery will last about 30 minutes. So you will either have to buy a bucket load of LP-E6 batteries or work out some form of external battery solution.

We used a dummy battery and our DIY NPF mount, but the results weren’t great. A battery at 100% dropped straight down to 60 or 40%.

This could have just been our battery setup, so if you are thinking of getting the pocket 4k look into other external battery setups. Especially ones that run through the 12v power input which is on the side of the camera.

Like I said earlier, external SSDs are at the best option to record onto and having a cage like this will allow you to mount one and not just have it dangle down.


If you are going to be shooting all day you will need to buy a few SSDs to get you through a whole day’s shoot. The other option is to have a computer nearby so you can copy the footage off the card.

If you have to do this whilst shooting a film, you would have someone whose sole job it is to ingest the footage off the card and onto the computer, this person is called a DIT.

Most of the time it’s difficult to find someone who can record sound on your film, so a DIT is a bit of a luxury for us indie filmmakers.

Post Production

If you want to shoot RAW, you’re going to need hard drive space for your computer, but the next investment is having a computer that can handle the workflow of editing RAW.

To process the footage you're going to be going through DaVinci Resolve which is an amazing program for being free.


I am not going to go into any more detail about the RAW editing workflow in this video, but I have linked to a good tutorial in the description below.

In the past, I have edited a film which we shot in RAW on a laptop that could not handle the workflow, and it was very difficult to play back the edit and be creative. So some advice, make sure your computer system can handle the workflow before you buy this camera.

We have good computers that can handle the RAW workflow, I’ve linked to two videos below about the 2 computers we use if you want to check them out.

When grading your footage, DaVinci Resolve is the king. Again, it’s amazing that this program is free, and I am not getting paid to say that. There is a big learning curve with the program, especially when it comes to grading. So you want to spend your next investment learning it.

If you are looking for Resolve tutorials, check out Izak Jackson’s channel. He’s got a bunch on DaVinci Resolve and some other great videos too.

Shooting RAW will give you the greatest level of control over your image, compared to shooting at H.264 on the Sony or even ProRes on the Pocket 4K. The image will be sharper, you can correct mistake a lot easier by having the ability to adjust the ISO and white balance in post. There are just fewer compromises you have to make when trying to achieve the film look you want.

Who is this camera for?

So after all of that, who is this camera for? We have used it to shoot episodes for this channel and test shot for our up and coming short film. For our YouTube videos, we wouldn’t really use the camera. As we make 8 videos per month the file sizes are just too high and we would be buying new hard drives every month.

To shoot a film, which we do 2 to 3 times a year, we wouldn’t mind the extra production expense we would need to spend on hard drives VS the quality of image we would get. Since every film is a one-off.

If you need the highest level of image quality because you are shooting video production work for a client and are making money from it, the pocket 4K is a very good option.

Any negatives that I have said about this camera or the extra investment you have to make to be able to use this camera, is all thrown away because of the price of the pocket 4K.

And at the end of the day, that’s what it comes down to, the price.

The image quality you get from it is amazing, and in order to get the same quality from another camera you’re going to need to spend 10 thousand pounds plus.

If you are looking to buy this camera, just remember the extra investment you will need to make in terms of accessories, hard drive storage, and a computer that can handle the workflow.


But for £1100, you get a lot of camera for the price.

In the description below I have linked to a few different articles that go into more detail about the specs of this camera, which I would highly recommend reading if you think about buying this camera. If you like this video give it a thumbs up and down if you don't, and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.


Black Magic Website -

Raw Editing Workflow -

Data Rates -

Wolfcrow -

Izak Jackson Resolve -

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Pre-Lighting & Test Shooting | Behind The Scenes

This week we head over to the location for our next short film and pre-light the whole scene. We break down each light we are using so you can see how it looks step by step!

🎥 This episode's kit/gear/equipment:

US links:

Aputure HR672c:


LED Colour Changing Bulb:

UK links:

Aputure HR672c:


LED Colour Changing Bulb:

🎬 In case you missed it

5 Tips for Nailing the 180°:

🎧 Listen to our Podcast!



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How to WRITE a more READABLE Screenplay

There’s a lot that goes into a screenplay. It’s not just a novel, it’s a blueprint for making the film.

Because of this, it can feel like a script packs a LOT of information but sometimes its readability and pace gets lost. Once you lose the readability, you’ve lost the reader.

How to Write a more READABLE script.jpg

So how do you write a more readable script that has some punchy pace? We have some tips which should guide you in the right direction. Welcome to The Film Look.

We’ve spoken about this a few times now, but it’s worth mentioning again.

Read the script out loud with a few friends. Give everyone a role to play, but have someone read the actions lines as well. This will give you a very clear indication if the script is easy to read.


To a newcomer, all this information is brand new, so they won’t have a bias or any previous knowledge when they read it.

While reading it out loud, you may notice dead stops in the script; points which cause a reader to stop, think, and read it again. This can be due to a bunch of things:

The first thing you can do is create more white space on the pages. You should be able to scan a script and understand it in a moment’s notice. This is especially helpful during a shoot.


You can create more white space by thinking of each paragraph as a beat in the film.

If you have “this happens, then this happens, then this happens”, space it out and put each “THEN” on a new line.

If things are happening at the same time, or within a single moment, you can keep it in the same paragraph.

A good rule of thumb is not writing over 5 lines for a single paragraph. If you are taking more than 5 lines to describe something, you are probably describing too much stuff.


Saying that, more words doesn’t always mean more descriptive.

Want to the describe the immense gunfire and chaos from a battlefield in world war 2?


Then describe it like chaos. Instead of:

“US Marines fire machine guns towards the Nazis”.

how about this:


Unleashing a storm of booming explosions, charging into bodies of Nazi soldiers like hot, invisible lightning, ripping through their clothes and tearing them apart.”

The two sentences describe the same thing, but the second gives you a sense of the image and feeling in the scene. It sounds a lot more chaotic and violent due to the use of metaphors, similes, and adjectives.


If you get creative, you can make your action lines paint pictures.

Let us know if you have any tips for making a script easy to read in the comments below. You can hit that orange lens cap if you want to subscribe for more videos just like this one, and remember to achieve it one line at a time.

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Makin' Vids | Behind The Scenes

In this week's BTS ask for your advice on thumbnails, test out the Black Magic Pocket 4K, test a $600 mic against a $60 mic, and show you how we light products for reviews.

🎬 In case you missed it

BTS Last Week:

Storytelling 101:

Maximise Your Location:

Storyboard Using Photos:

🎧 Listen to our Podcast!



📞 The Socials






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Our YouTube Presenting Setup

We have been presenting like this for almost 2 years, so I think it’s time to break down the setup.

Let’s start with the space we shoot in and the floor plan of our studio.

Studio Layout

To give us as much control over the lighting in the room, we start by blocking out all of the light coming through the window. Since the window is nearly 3 meters high, we use a large blackout curtain which we clip to the window.

Then we use a large fold-out backdrop and wedge it between a tripod head and the ceiling.


We didn’t say this was going to be pretty.

Next, we hook up a frosted shower curtain to the ceiling which is 1 meter away from where we present. Then we place a light behind it to create a large soft source.


The light we use is this NiceFoto 330W LED light set to 5600K at 10% brightness and is 2 meters away from the shower curtain.

We have a video review all about the NiceFoto light if you would like to check it out here.

Before we got this light, we used one of our softboxes and placed right next to the shower curtain. We’ve had these softboxes for about 5 years now and they have a green tint to them, so we were always correcting the colour in the white balance setting on the camera and in the edit. More on colour correction later on.

Here is a side by side comparison of the colour difference between the two lights.


Next, we add a background and a hair light by using a household bulb which is attached to our bookcase via our can lights. On the front of the can light is DIY diffusion paper to make the light softer, and also a cardboard flag to stop the light from spilling too much on to the presenter.

We have a video on DIY diffusion here.

Finally, we tape a DIY cardboard flag to stop the light from hitting the background as it is shiny photo paper, and we use this practical light which is a light up clapperboard on the shelf.

Links to all of the equipment will be linked in the description below.

To shoot the presenting we use a Sony a7s mark 1 which is about 1 meter away. We use a Canon 50mm lens set to F2.8, shutter 1/50, and an ISO of 160.

We present right in front of Richard’s desk which we raise to standing height. We do this as we do not have a teleprompter, so we can read the script for the episode off the screen.


When it comes to presenting parts like this one where we are looking at the camera we just have to memorise the lines, but we don’t always get it on the first go.

For sound, we boom a Rode NTG3 on a C-Stand just out of shot above us. We use a smart rig which converts the XLR cable into a 3.5mm cable and provides phantom power to the microphone so we can feed the signal directly into the camera.

When recording the parts in the script where we are not presenting directly to the camera, we still roll video. We do this to keep the audio consistent throughout the whole recording.

Also, it would be a faff setting up another audio recorder just for this setup.

The time it takes to shoot the presenting for each episode depends on the length of the script, but having the same setup helps us save time.

In the edit, we cut it all together with the other footage from the episode and then we colour correct and grade the shot. The standard profile which we shoot with on the Sony A7s has a flat look to it, so we add contrast and bring up the highlights to help make the image pop.

And that is it. The setup is a bit makeshift and DIY, but it works for us.


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🇬🇧 UK links: NiceFoto HA-3300B -

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New Film - New Lights - New Challenges | Behind The Scenes

This week we work on our newest film, let you in on some of the tricks we use in pre-production, and let you in on when those tricks don't bloody work!

🎬 In case you missed it

Storytelling 101:

Maximise Your Location:

Storyboard Using Photos:

🎧 Listen to our Podcast!



📞 The Socials






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Get CINEMATIC by Connecting YOUR Shots!

The best shots in a film usually involve movement; whether that be camera movement or character movement. With the invention of things like handheld gimbals, achieving a big move is easier than ever! But achieving a good looking, and purposeful, camera move is more than just mindlessly whipping the camera around the scene.


Today we are showing YOU how we approach long takes, camera movement, and how we combine shots to make a film feel more CINEMATIC. Welcome to The Film Look.

This process is actually quite straightforward. The first thing you will need is a set of storyboards for your scene. You CAN create storyboards by drawing them out, but if you can’t draw, like us, you can take photos instead.


We have a video going into more detail about storyboarding using photos here. It’s actually really helpful and has multiple benefits as opposed to drawing them by hand!

Once you have an idea of the types of shots you want to cover, lay them out in front of you.

For this example, we are using the photo storyboard created for a scene in our short film Corpse. This photo board includes 36 shots. But if you closely, there are a bunch of shots which we can actually connect together using camera movement, such as these three here.


We have an insert of a character receiving a knife, a close up on one actor, and a close up on another actor. But all three of these actions can be covered in a single moving shot because they are all within a pan or a tilt of one another.

So instead of CUT CUT CUT, let's transform it into MOVE, MOVE, MOVE.


We start off on shot A, using the action of giving the knife as direction for the camera move, which brings us to shot B, hold for a moment, then we continue up to shot C.


If we do this with all of the shots in the scene, we can massively reduce the shot list, which in turn, reduces the shooting time. It looks better, and it's quicker to shoot than before! Two birds, one stone.

We also did this in our film The Asylum Groove during the execution scene. We start on our character, then up to the execution head cap, then down to his restraints, then back to the character for his emotional change.


They started out as inserts, but we turned them into one single moving shot.

Let's use another example. Something a bit more technical.

Next up we have a scene from our film Backstage.

The original shots we had planned for this scene were: a wide establishing shot of the bathroom and the people inside, a shot of Jenny, and a shot of the Medium.

The room itself was quite small. We didn’t want to use a fish eye lens, so instead, we connected the three planned shots together into one camera movement which would hit all the marks.


It starts with the Medium in a reflected close up using the mirror. Then it pans to Jenny as she enters the room - the camera move is motivated by the sound of the door. This move establishes the geography of the room and the space between our two characters.

Jenny commands the two wrestlers to get ready for the fight, so the camera can follow this by panning over to the wrestlers.

We have three shots in this one movement; A, B, and C. It establishes spatial connections between characters, gives us the geography of the scene, and every move has a motivated command.

This helps create a natural flow in a scene. If we cut all the time, we are breaking up the scene, and sometimes it prevents immersion. By keeping with the characters, and seeing the room, we gather a lot more information in the same duration of time.


Finally, let’s talk about using this technique in the ultimate cinematic feat: the “oner”.

The oner: also known as a one take scene or a long take. Basically, the camera doesn’t cut for an extended amount of time, and instead, it moves around the scene with the characters and the action.

We haven’t done a oner yet, so instead, here is Indiana Jones.

At first you might look at this scene as one massive camera shot, but it’s actually the same as the examples we showed earlier. The scene is broken down into key positions.

  • Ext establishing shot

  • Wide shot at the door

  • Wide shot in the living room

  • Wide shot when packing the suitcase

  • Medium close up on Marcus

  • Wide shot of Indy finding his gun

  • Medium wide of Indy & Marcus

  • Close up of the gun

  • Medium shot of the gun thrown into the suitcase


Apart from the close up on the gun and the exterior wide establishing shot, the rest of the scene is covering these key positions and simply moving from one mark to the next.

We made a video essay on Raiders of the Lost Ark if you want to see how else this film gets it so right. I’d say this is the best film ever, but prove me wrong in the comments below!

So, next time you feel you have too many shots in your shot list, or want to give your film a little more cinematic movement, try connecting some shots together.

Connect your shots - connect your story - connect to your audience.

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5 Tips for Nailing the 180° Degree Rule!

This week we are going back to basics and explaining the 180 degree rule; a fundamental method of filmmaking which can make or break your film.

We have a tip which will help you make sure you are using the rule correctly, how to quickly double check you are inside the line, and identifying when it's time to change it during a scene.

This is the 180 degree rule!


The 180 degree rule is used for retaining spatial connections between the characters in the scene. The rule is used to make sure the audience knows exactly where everyone is in relation to each other.


It’s actually quite simple. You have 180 degrees where you can place the camera. You can draw it out like a semi-circle, and you will usually place the straight edge from one character to another, the straight line between these characters is known as “the line”.


When you start shooting a scene, you can choose which side of the line to shoot on. Choosing a side will depend on things like what’s more interesting in the background and if you have limited space on one side of the set.


Once you draw out your semi-circle, you can place the camera down and shoot from any angle inside the boundary.

The easiest set of shots to achieve with two characters is a triad: a shot of both your characters in frame (known as a 2-shot) and a set of character singles, either by shooting them clean or over the shoulder (also known as shooting it “dirty” because you are hiding some of the frame).


This becomes your standard dialogue triad, but you aren’t limited to just these positions.


A good way to think about your shooting space is by having your actors hold a single piece of string between one another. This line is now a barrier which the camera cannot cross. In addition to the string between your actors is a pole in the centre with another piece of string attached to the camera.


The camera is now tethered to the line but you can still freely move the camera inside the semi-circle and choose a wide range of shots.

Because you have the string attached to the camera, the moment you touch an actor with that string, you are about to step over the line, breaking spatial clarity.


The string method is a good way to double check if you are going “over the line”. So what’s this “line” all about, anyway?


The 180 rule is all about spatial awareness. You want each shot to have the actors looking towards each other. So, in shot A the actor is looking to the right of frame, and in shot B the actor is looking to the left.

When cutting between the shots, it looks like they are speaking to each other even if we don’t shoot an over-the-shoulder.


Let's break the rule and see what happens.

We will use the same shot of actor A, but we will step over the line to frame up on actor B.


If we cut between these shots, both actors look like they are facing the same direction, losing spatial awareness, and very likely confusing the audience.


If two actors are looking at each other, they must be looking into different directions of the frame for it to make sense during editing. A 2-shot applies the same rules; they look to each other, resulting in opposite directions, so we must use the same rules for the single character shots too.


As well as the string method, you can make sure you aren’t breaking the 180 by using a little gaff tape on your camera.  Make a note of the direction each actor is facing and pin it to your camera so you can double check with every shot.


You will know if you are crossing the line if the direction the actor is looking doesn’t match the direction of the arrow on your camera.

We still double check we aren’t breaking the line during every shoot because we know it’s a make or break mistake.

If you are worried you’ve crossed the line, double check by thinking of the string method, check each character is looking to different sides of the frame, and if you need to, stick a gaff tape reminder to your camera.

Breaking the 180 in a film is an clear example of amateur and poor filmmaking. Even if your film has lots of heavy action, and some crazy shots, the line is there to keep spatial awareness for the audience, and it should never be broken.

So don’t worry - and speak up if you think you are getting it wrong!

But this doesn’t mean you can’t move the line or draw a new line during a scene! Let me show an example.

The first way you can change the 180 and re-establish a new shooting space is when the camera travels over the line during a take. If we slide behind a character and frame over the other shoulder, we’ve now crossed the line, which means we must draw a new semi-circle and adhere to this new space for the rest of the scene.


This “changing of the 180” is a great example of using the rules of filmmaking to emphasise a moment in a scene.

This “change” of the rule usually happens when something significant happens in a scene like a change of power dynamic or a big reveal.


But what about if your characters are walking around and moving over the line during the scene?


In our film Backstage, the 180 line actually changes 3 times during a single scene. This is because our characters step over the line, so we have to re-draw and re-establish spatial awareness of the scene.


The first line in the scene is between The Medium and Jenny. We draw a straight line between both of them and stay in this side of the semi-circle. The Medium looks to the left of the frame and Jenny looks to the right. When Jenny leaves the scene, we can draw a new line.


The Medium is now looking to the right of the frame, technically breaking the rule from earlier in the scene. But by shooting a wider shot we can show where the character is in the space and establish a new line, retaining spatial awareness.


The line is now on the other side, between The Medium and the Flyswatter. The Medium looks to the right of the frame, and The Flyswatter looks to his left.

This is actually a funny example because in this part of the scene The Medium and the Flyswatter aren’t actually making any eye contact because of the cubicle wall between them. But by making sure they both look into opposite sides of the frame, it still retains spatial connectivity between the two characters.


Later in the scene, the Medium returns to his original position, but we are now shooting on the new line, which means the Medium must continue to look to his right when speaking to The Flyswatter who is looking to the left.


When The Flyswatter exits the toilet cubicle, we draw a third line. Again, we shoot a wider frame to re-establish the space. The Flyswatter now looks to his right, and The Medium looks to his left, putting the semicircle between the two characters when they stand in front of each other.

We used the first line to take advantage of a few things. It gave us the ability to see into the door when Jenny walks in, we were able to capture the other wrestlers in the room, and we got a clean close up on The Medium.

We established the second line for shooting a clear back and forth between The Flyswatter and The Medium.

And we established a third line so we could shoot back into the room for the end, rather than face the toilet cubicles.

The 180 degree rule is one of the fundamental rules of filmmaking. This isn’t a “once you know the rule, you can break the rules” scenario. You don’t break this one...instead, you change it.

Let us know if you you’d like any more back to basics videos just like this one in the comments below. Vote with your thumbs if you liked or disliked this video, and remember to achieve it one rule at a time.

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Aputure 300D Alternative? | NiceFoto HA-3300B Review

These COB LED lights, the ones with the big LED chip have become very popular over the last few years with Aputure leading the way with their 300D; something which we have used in the past to shoot our short film The Asylum Groove.

From our experience, the 300d is a very good light, but one of the main reason we have not bought one is because of the price.

So when a company called NiceFoto contacted us saying they have a light which has a very similar design to the 300d, but is brighter and is nearly half the price, we weren't going to say no to reviewing it.


Just to say up top Nice Foto did send us the HA-3300B light to review, but everything in this video is our honest opinion.


Let's start off with the specs of the light.

We will be comparing this light to the Aputure 300D when we can, but we cannot do a side by side comparison as we don’t own one.

So everything we say about the 300d will be from our own experiences of using the light and some spec information which Aputure provides.

The HA-3300B is a 330W LED light. The output at one meter away with the standard reflector cone is 52000 LUX or a F20 at ISO200 1/50th of a second.


In the real world, this is well over a 2k light.

The Aputure 300D has an output of 31000 LUX or F11 at ISO 200 1/50th of a second at the same distance and reflector cone.

As you can see at 100% you would need to shoot at a higher f-stop to capture the correct exposure for the Nice Photo light.

Basically, the Nice Foto light is a brighter than the 300D.

The colour temperature is 5600K with the 300D being 5500k and both have a CRI rating of 95 plus.

You can dim the light in 10% increments, down to 10%. This doesn’t give you as much control as the 300D were you can change the brightness a percentage at a time but in practice, 10% increments are enough.


All of this is controlled on the light or via the wireless remote, and if you have a few of these lights you can control them all from one remote.

To keep the light cool there are 3 fans built in, which work great. We have had the light running for a few hours and it stayed super cool.

If people are concerned about fan noise from any of these types of lights, don't be. If you are recording your audio correctly, your mic should be pointing toward your subject and not the light.

Even if you are standing right next to the light, just position your mic away from it and you're never going to hear the fans over dialogue.

Build Quality

The main body of the light and the arm is made out of metal, but the knobs and handle are made out of plastic.


This is unlike the 300D, were most of the parts are made out of metal. This is where NiceFoto has saved money to make the light much cheaper.

After using this light a bunch of times it still has the feel of a high-quality product and it is going to last a long time.

The light has a Bowens mount and comes with a reflector cone. The Bowens mount is the same one you get on the 300D, so you could attach all of the Aputure Bowens attachments like the fresnel, softbox, and space light to this light.

There are loads of different Bowens mount attachments out there, which allow you to turn this light into many different types of light.

We are going to be making a video about all of the different Bowens mount attachments and how many different sources of light you can get from one light. So if you haven't already consider subscribing.


The light has a very similar power setup to the 300d. First, you plug the DC cable into the light and then into the power adapter. The best thing about the power adapter is this strap which lets you easily attach it to the light stand.

This was the biggest problem we had when using the Aputure lights, as you had to hang the power and the control panel from the light stand.


This little strap makes it safer and saves rigging time on the NiceFoto light.

Next, you plug the AC cable into the power adapter, which is 5 meters long.

NiceFoto are releasing a V-Lock battery pack so you can use this light via batteries.

How have we used this light

We have used this light to bring up the general ambient light in a room by bouncing the light off the wall and ceiling.

We have used it at night to shine more direct light into our scene to bring up the exposure of our character, which is something we wouldn't have been able to do before.

We are also using it right now to light up this presenting setup. It is currently on 10% about 3 meters away shining through a shower curtain, creating a large soft light.


One negative with this light is that it does not come with a bag. It’s an awkward shape and to protect it when in transport, it really needs a bag.

If we find one in the future that fits this light, we will add it into the description below.



You get a lot of light for the price, and that is what it comes down to. At nearly half the price of the Aputure 300D, you are getting a light which is brighter, at the same quality, and it has the same flexibility with the Bowens mount attachments at nearly half the price…

which I know I have mentioned but is worth saying again.

So who is this light for? It's for people that need a light that can replicate the sun, but also the control to turn one light in too many different sources of light.

This light holds up and beats the 300D in some categories, so if you are looking for a cheap alternative to the 300D you can find a link in the description below to the Nice Foto light.

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How to Light an Exterior Night Scene

In this video, we are going to be breaking down the lighting setup for this shot, which we used in the last video about building up the tension in your film.

Let's start off by playing the whole scene.


First, we blocked out the scene to make sure the camera move would work in this location. We tried this shot a couple of different times during the day at two different angles.

The move is a track and pan and works best when you have a wall that obscures the audience's view from what the character can see. This helps us build up the tension in the shot and reveal what is there.

You can find a link right here to the video, that goes into a lot more detail about the camera move.

When we had everything blocked out, and it was dark. We could see what available light we had to work with. Our main source of light is this white LED street light; it’s a newer type of light than most street lights in the area, so it’s a lot more white than the typical orange bulbs.


We did need to add more light to the scene to bring up the exposure on our main character and fill the alley with a little more light.

To retain the direction of the practical street light and motivate it with more light, we would have had to rig a light up high to keep it consistent. Luckily for us, our studio window is right above the location and the street light.

This meant we could shine the light through the window, down onto the street and onto our actor. Matching the direction of the light makes it seem like it’s all coming from the street light.

The light we used is this NiceFoto HA-3300B set at 100% brightness which is a 330 watt LED or over a 2k light.


We will be reviewing the light in next week’s video so make sure you check that out.  

We added a blue gel to the light to help it match the colour of the street light and a little bit of black wrap to help shape the light and stop it from shining onto the rooftops of the buildings opposite.

Next, we added a light onto this wall here, as at the current exposure it is completely black. So we took our Aputure hr672c light panel, attached it to a c-stand and boomed it around 10 feet high.


We set the colour temperature to 3200 kelvin and inserted an orange gel to give us a very vibrant orange light to make it contrast between our blue key light.

Then we added black wrap to the panel to cut the light into a sharp cone to mimic a street light and so it wouldn’t shine past the end of the wall.

We shot the whole scene on a handheld gimbal, using a Sony a7s Mark 1, with a 35mm lens. We shot with a daylight white balance with a ISO of 2500 and everything was shot at F8 to give us a greater focus distance as we could not pull focus whilst using the gimbal.

To grade the shots we used Lumetri in Adobe Premiere. We added contrast as the Sony standard picture profile has a flat look to it. We dropped the highlight brightness mainly for the wall which was closest to the light as it was too bright. Then dropped the shadows to create a greater vignette which helps lead our eye towards the light.

Next, we added the Fuji f125 Kodak 2393 LUT to help make it pop.

There is probably a reason it is called that, but I don't know what it is, so let us know in the comments below if you do.

We set the intensity to 20% as pushing any further would lose the essential detail in the image.

As you can see we only made slight adjustments to the image as the colour and texture of the walls give us a look that we already liked.


Finally, we added a 35mm course film grain to the image which we got from the the Emulsion pack from RocketStock. We tried a couple of the different film grains you get in the pack, but the 35mm coarse grain looked good for this image. Links to the emulsion pack can be found the description below if you want to check them out.

Also, If you want to watch more lighting breakdown videos we have a bunch on our channel. This one is all about how we used the Aputure 300d to light this shot. You can find that video here.

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Slowly Building Tension | Motivated Camera Moves

A film should always rise in tension until you get to the tipping point where your character has to make the most important decision in the film.

So is it possible to build up the tension with one shot, let's find out?


For this video, we have created this small scene. Let’s check it out:

Just like our coming to a halt video, this scene was inspired by a camera move from the book Master Shots by Christopher Kenworthy.


If you want to check out the book and watch the last video we made, you can find it here.

Let’s set the story for the shot:

Throughout the film, our character has been running from a creature, monster, or some form of an antagonist. They get to a point in the film where they either have to keep running or stand up and fight.


Staring down a long corridor, our character can hear the creature, which is tense enough. But to raise the tension even higher, at the beginning of the shot we frame the corridor out of the view of the audience. The camera slowly slides along and we finally reveal the corridor and see what our character can see.

At this point, you can do one of two things. Either reveal the creature or just leave the corridor empty. Your character deciding to step down a scary corridor and accepting the unknown could be a lot more impactful than if the monster is standing there. Plus you can add a lot of tension by adding sound effects of the creature.


If you do want to show the monster at the end of the shot looking at your main character, this could work as a standoff between the two characters. Your antagonist is telling the audience, if your hero wants to advance in the story, he is going to have to get past me first.


The move itself is simple, it’s just a track and pan, but to help build up the tension you want a slow and smooth shot and achieve this shot we used a handheld gimbal.


We did try and record this shot using a hand-held camera, but the movement didn’t look as good as it wasn’t as smooth. Also, we filmed the same shot only using a tripod, but the lack of movement didn’t allow us to build up the tension as much.

Knowing when and how to build up the tension in your film is an important trick, and this shot is just one of the ways you can do it and can be applied to other types of scenes.

In this shot, our character has arrived at his bosses party and is anxious to enter. The creeping looking building doesn’t help either.


If you want to check out the master shots book we took this camera move from, you can find a link in the description below. This is the shot referenced in the book, the character in this film is geared up, ready to fight, and can hear the monster at the end of the corridor.

If you know what film this shot is from, let us know in the comments below.


Check out our other camera movement video which is called the coming to a halt, that can be found here. If you haven’t already, consider subscribing by hitting that orange lens cap and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.

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Test Shooting: Why it's VITAL for YOUR Film | Behind The Scenes

This week we shot an episode, tested out some new microphones, talking about why dry running a scene is crucial to a successful film, and why you should test shoot any complex shots.

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6 UNIQUE SHOTS using a Clamp Rig!

Lately, we’ve been experimenting with crab clamps.


Our latest DIY invention is the lightweight clamp rig: it involves combining a clamp, a magic arm, and quick release plate so you can mount a light weight camera to strange and creative places.


Today we are showing you 6 different ways you can get creative with the clamp rig to help you with your next film.

Let me preface this episode with a quick note: these clamps can be tightened very easily, so just make sure you attach them to something strong. You don’t want your camera to fall off, or even worse, damage the surface you are clamping it to! So just be cautious.


Car Cam

The first place we tested out the clamp rig was inside a car to get some driving shots.

We found the headrest rods were a perfect diametre for the crab clamps, and because we had a magic arm attached, we were able to distance the camera from the clamp and get closer to the subject’s eyes.


We drove around and the camera rig stayed in place. It did shake a bit when we hit some bumpy ground, but this could look like tasteful if you were shooting a scene with some fast paced action or drama.

Once we were driving on a flat, smooth road, the shot turned out silky.


We also shot a set of french-overs. With this setup, you would actually be able to shoot 2 cameras at the same time because the headrests, and the clamps, aren’t in shot.

You can get the same type of shot with a camera op in the backseat, but if you have limited crew, this is a good option.

The last shot in the car was a 2 shot from the front. My car is old and cheap, so the dashboard is made of some sort of shiny plastic which made attaching the clamp difficult. So we stuffed in some extra rubber tape to keep it secure.


Bookcase Cam

The next thing we tried was using the clamp rig on a bookcase.

We attached the clamp rig to the top shelf of the bookcase and positioned it looking into the room. With this shot, you can simulate a CCTV camera. This would be difficult to achieve with a tripod because of the lack of height and its spread out legs, so the clamp actually made this shot possible.


Then we pointed the camera looking straight to the floor, achieving a very high, top down frame. This is a very strange type of angle, so using this type of shot in the film would work great if you wanted the audience to pay extra attention to something.


Plate Cam

We wanted to go a bit weird with this next one.


Similar to a snorri-cam setup, we attached the clamp rig to a moving dinner plate. When coupled with the journey from the microwave to the table, this shot becomes quite interesting.


There is a lot of tell about a character by the type of meal they eat. So if you are using food to give a character or scene thematic emphasis, you can give the shot extra presence by turning it into a plate-cam!

Guitar Cam

The next thing we tried was attaching it to an instrument.


This is a perfect shot for an interesting live session or music video. As the musician moves around the stage, the guitar seems to stick to the frame, giving us a shot with, again, a lot of presence.


Just a quick note, before you attach the rig clamp to a guitar, ask the guitarist if it's okay, and try to pad out the clamp to relieve the pressure on the guitar to prevent any damage. We clamped the rig to my guitar, and unfortunately, it did leave a little groove in the wood. The crab clamp clearly isn’t the right tool for the job in this instance!


So here’s a question for you guys: to achieve this shot without damaging an instrument, how would you attach the camera to it?

Toilet Cubicle Cam


In one of our previous films, Backstage, some shots were inside a toilet cubicle. To pull of the shot we had to swap the tripod for a monopod in order to get closer to the door, and stand on an apple box in order to get the correct height.


This is where the rig clamp comes in!


We copied the shot from Backstage but this time we attached the rig clamp to the cubicle door frame and locked off the shot. It does mean you can no longer pan and tilt when the clamp is in place (unless you figure out how to attach a tripod head to it!), but now it’s safely up a height, pointing down, and best of all you can now open and close the door, so you won’t have to lock your talent in the loo anymore.

Discrete Shots & Timelapses

The last few things we tried were based on shooting vlogs. When a gorillapod won’t secure and a tripod is too bulky, you can use the rig clamp to attach it to things like railings if you wanted to get a shot of walking through the frame or even if you wanted to talk to the camera for a moment.


Lastly, we tried attaching the rig clamp to a table while we wrote the script for this very episode!

The camera is secure and out of the way: it can’t be knocked off the table during a timelapse, and there’s no chance of someone walking along and kicking one of the tripod legs.

And if someone tries to steal it, they will have a lot of trouble getting it disconnected!


This WAS a bit of an experiment. The rig clamp isn’t perfect, we know that. But it certainly opened up some possibilities for shooting. The parts we used can be found in the description.

If you want to see more videos just like this one, hit the orange lens cap to subscribe, and remember to achieve it one shot at a time.

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Unboxing the MyRodeReel Prizes | Behind The Scenes

In this week’s BTS we unbox all of the prizes we won from the MyRodeReel 2018 film competition!

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Winning BTS Video:

The Asylum Groove:

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Feelworld Master MA7 Monitor Review

The Feelworld Master MA7, now that’s how to name a monitor, and is what we are going to be reviewing in this video.

This is the 4th Monitor we have reviewed on this channel, so let's see if this one is better than rest.

Build Quality


Let's start off with the build quality of the MA7. It is the best out of all of the monitors we own, as this one has an all-metal body and the others are plastic.

I still wouldn’t recommend dropping it but if you do, the MA7 should be able to take a harder hit than the others we own.

There are 8 buttons on the top of the monitor. Power, menu, 4 to navigate through the menus and 2 custom function buttons.

When you’re not using the menu it would be great if the left and right buttons were also function buttons. Currently, they are being used to change the volume as this monitor has a headphone jack.


Having the volume controls set as 2 of the main buttons is a bit of a waste when they could be set to more useful functions you would use when shooting.

This could all change and be updated as the monitor has a USB firmware upgrade port.



The MA7 has both HDMI in and out, which allows you to daisy-chain the video signal to another monitor. This comes in handy if you have a focus puller who is operating away from the camera or if you have a directors monitor setup.


Just like all of the other monitors we own, this one can be powered via NPF Batteries or via a DC power cable.


The screen is 7 inches and has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels. So it is super sharper and much is sharper than the Sony a7s camera monitor.

The screen has a 160-degree viewing angle, which means you can literally view the image from any angle.


You will have to calibrate this monitor to make it match your camera. This takes a little trial and error, by changing the colour tones of the monitor and the backlight brightness. I would say I got the colour, contrast, and brightness to about 95% there.

We’ve had to calibrate the 4 different monitors we own, so it’s not just the Feelworld Master MA7 that requires this.

This monitor will work with 4k cameras as well, with the resolution sticking at 1920 x 1200.


The MA7 does have a latency of around 4 frames, but the other 3 monitors we own all have the same latency. We’ve used these monitors on all types of projects and you really don't notice the latency when shooting. You only notice it when you go frame by frame which you are never going to do.

Software Features

We are seeing a trend with the monitors in this price range. They all have the same software feature and most have the same interface, so let's talk about the ones we use the most.

The first function button is set to false colour, the second is set to zebras and you can even set the IRE exposure level to match up with your camera.

I personally like to always have centre markers on, and sometimes we will use the ratio markers to help frame up if we plan to add film bars in a post.

This monitor also has an audiometer which you can have a screen at all times which is a nice feature to have.

What’s in the Box

The monitor comes with 2 HDMI cables, a mini and micro so you can start using it straight away depending on which HDMI socket your camera has.

Ours also came with a battery, but you will definitely need more.

The monitor comes with a sunscreen hood. First, you have to clip on the frame and velcro the hood onto that. A problem we have found is that when you clip the frame on to the monitor it hides the graphics which indicates which HDMI socket is which, as you have HDMI in and out.


We’ve added a little bit of gaff tape onto the frame so we know which one is which as we like to keep the frame on the monitor.

This is just a design fault and does not affect the operation of the monitor in any way, but it’s worth knowing.

You also get a standard ball head mount, which isn’t the best one we ever had, so if you are looking for a monitor mount check out our video on the AndyCine hot shoe mount.

We think it’s the best one out there. You can find a link to that video at the end of this one.

Depending on where you buy this monitor will depend on what accessories you get in the box.

If you do want to buy it you can find a link in the description, it really helps the channel out if you use it.


So is this monitor better than the 3 other monitors we have? The long answer is if you are looking for a new 7-inch monitor you’ll not be disappointed with the Master MA7, especially for the price.

The monitor has a little bit of setup, but this is no different from the other monitors we have, the viewing angle is great, and it has all of the software features you need.

The most important thing is that the monitor does not slow you down and get in the way when shooting. It just works.

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Some of these links are affiliate links, if you purchase gear via these links The Film Look will receive a small commission, but there will be no additional cost to you. Thank you!